In advance of the House Select Committee on
Benghazi! “Beat Hillary Fight Club” hearing witch dunking tomorrow, Democrats on the committee released the full transcript of nine hours of closed-door testimony from Cheryl Mills, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton. Dems release Benghazi transcript on eve of Clinton’s testimony:
The 307-page transcript from Cheryl Mills’s September testimony contains no evidence that Clinton mishandled the U.S.’s response to the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, according to Democrats on the select committee investigating the incident.
Instead, Clinton was “very engaged” in responding to the crisis, Mills said, according to the new transcript.
In fact, her decision to go to a “staff-level” meeting about the incident — which would normally be below Clinton’s level as secretary of State — “took some people aback,” she added.
“What she was communicating the night is, ‘I’m here because I want my team safe. … And whatever we need to do to do that I want to do,’” Mills said.
The transcript comes in response to “multiple selective and out-of-context leaks mischaracterizing Ms. Mills’s testimony,” top Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) said in a statement announcing he transcript’s release.
Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department.
Democrats had threatened to release the transcript last week in a dramatic escalation of the committee’s partisan infighting.
Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) had urged Democrats to “treat the conversation as if it were classified,” but Cummings and his fellow lawmakers have rejected that request.
Mills’s transcript comes just 24 hours ahead of Clinton’s high-profile appearance in an open session of the committee.
Democrats and Clinton have both gone on the offense ahead of that appearance, seeming to believe that the political winds have shifted to give them the leverage. A string of damaging remarks from Republicans have seemed to confirm Democrats’ long-held position that the Select Committee on Benghazi was partly designed to bring down Clinton’s front-runner presidential campaign. [i.e., the “Beat Hillary Fight Club”]
Senate Democrats are asking the RNC to reimburse taxpayers for the expenses of this GOP partisan witch hunt committee. Reid takes shot at Benghazi panel ahead of Clinton hearing:
“In recent weeks, it’s become absolutely clear that this committee is nothing more than a political hit job on Hillary Clinton,” the Democratic leader said. “They’re going to bring her in tomorrow. They said be ready for eight hours, eight hours of interrogation, and that’s what this is, interrogation.”
Reid added that Senate Democrats have sent a letter to the Republican National Committee (RNC) asking that it reimburse the American taxpayers for any money spent on the Benghazi committee.
Reid said the request is “only fair since the so-called committee is clearly a Republican political organization.”
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“The notion that an official House committee was used as a political tool is inexplicable,” he added. “I would suggest the chairman of that committee should be ashamed of himself.”
Democrats have called on Boehner to shutter the committee in the wake of McCarthy’s comments.
Democrats assigned to the Benghazi! committee are threatening to quit after Clinton’s testimony to deny any further legitimacy to this GOP partisan witch hunt committee. Dems consider resigning from Benghazi committee:
Democrats on the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, may leave the panel soon after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before it this week, according to one Dem.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, told Reuters on Tuesday that Democrats want to make sure Clinton is treated fairly but don’t want to keep giving legitimacy to the panel.
“How much longer does it make sense for us to continue to participate?” Schiff told Reuters.
“We lend legitimacy, by being there, to a committee that really has none,” he added.
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Schiff said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the committee has often leaked damaging information to try to hurt Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
“The way that this committee has operated is by leak of damaging information with only one objective, and that is all the leaks have a common denominator, all of the leaks are designed to hurt Secretary Clinton,” he said Sunday.
“The fact is … after 17 months, four-and-a-half million dollars, we have nothing new to tell the families, apart from that there was a private email server,” he added. “That doesn’t tell us anything about Benghazi.”